Sikkim Revisited/6

A large portion of the Himalayas is blessed with several caves visited by the most revered person of Vajrayana Buddhism – Guru Padmasambhava, or more popularly known as Rinpoche. In some he meditated himself, in some he initiated his favourite disciples or consorts, in some he hid secret treasures or Tormas, or some he just simply visited. Sharchhog Bayphug is one such cave that Rinpoche visited sometime during 8th century A.D. Located in the outskirt of Ravangla town this place does not come under popular tourist spots of Ravangla. Even know-it-all google will return little knowledge.

Our car dropped us in front of a stairway that had descended and disappeared down in the woods. We started climbing down. Sharchhog Bayphug had a monastery for which we had to climb down further. The cave was situated much higher up. Not a single soul was to be seen except a few workers. The entrance of the cave was decorated with mani stones, prayers threads and offering bowls. The belly of the cave was looking pitch black from outside. A sound of multiple footprints was coming out of the inner sanctum. We were confused because the gate was closed when we got there. Upon probing we found out that water dripping out of a crevice was getting echoed and making that noise. We wanted to explore the cave all the way in but without a guide it did not seem to be a good idea. Also, nobody except the driver actually knew we were there.

On our way back we got ourselves a company. A dog appeared out of nowhere and didn’t leave our side until we reached the car. He was reminding me of our companion on our Tango Monastery trek. I am a person full of faith and possibilities. I wouldn’t be surprised if some mountain deity took the shape of dog and came to see us off. Even the legends say most of the great yogis and Rinpoches including Padmasambhava are still alive and living incognito among us. You never know.

Our Ravangla tour was over. We were heading back for Gangtok again. We halted at the Temi tea garden en route and enjoyed freshly brewed organic tea.

We spent our last day of the trip in a leisurely manner. Fortunately the sky remained clear the whole day. We had kept the day for shopping and buying souvenirs. An open air art exhibition was going on the pavement of MG Marg. We sat at Baker’s Café while looking at people on the open promenade wishing we could stay there forever. It was time to go home. But then I wondered this place where I came for 3 times in last two years, was it also not home for me? A part of my soul is entrapped here and I will keep coming back looking for that part of me whom I miss every single day of my life in the city that I call my home.

The end